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Daily Archives: June 13th, 2020


insider@insider.com (Lauren Frias),

Business Insider•June 13, 2020

Associated Press

  • After weeks of lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the US is on its way to reopen the economy. However, a number of states have been reporting spikes in new cases throughout the country.
  • While the culpability could appear to be on a so-called “rushed reopening,” one expert said the blame should instead be placed on the lack of a comprehensive testing and contact tracing system in the US.
  • Danielle Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, joined more than 30 other cross-disciplinary experts to co-author detailed guidance, titled “Pandemic Resilience: Getting It Done,” on the necessary levels of testing and tracing to safely reopen communities.
  • Allen told Business Insider that the US’ approach to slow the spread instead of suppressing cases entirely could be at fault for the spikes in cases.
  • “Most states have reopened with a mitigation strategy in place rather than a suppression strategy,” she said, “and our view is that this is a mistake because it does not provide a sufficiently secure foundation for full opening and fully stable opening.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

States across the US are on the path to reopening their economies after months of a patchwork of “stay-at-home” orders put in place to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The White House released a set of criteria that states are recommended to meet before reopening. As of Friday, only seven states have met all of the criteria, according to a ProPublica analysis.

Coronavirus cases in the US have been on the rise, with the country recording the biggest jump in new cases within a 72-hour period earlier this week. A leaked CDC document named the US as the worst of 10 major countries in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Friday night, the US had reported over 2 million cases and more than 114,000 deaths.

Wow. The U.S. has recorded a 36% increase in daily COVID cases (rolling average of last three days), according to a CDC documented obtained by @YahooNews.

Most European countries dropping rapidly.

One expert said that as we address the rise in cases, the frame should be shifted from a focus on a “rushed reopening” towards a delay in establishing a cohesive testing and contact tracing strategy.

Danielle Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, joined more than 30 other cross-disciplinary experts to co-author detailed guidance, titled “Pandemic Resilience: Getting It Done,” on the necessary levels of testing and tracing to safely reopen communities.

“I don’t think we rushed the reopening. I don’t think we did,” Allen told Business Insider. “What I think we failed to do was to build the tools of suppression. That’s what we failed to do.”

Allen said reopening the US came more-or-less “when it should have been,” but “we should have had those tools of suppression in place by the time we reopened.”

She told Business Insider that the discrepancy in the US’ shortcomings in dealing with the coronavirus lies in its approach of simply putting a band-aid over the problem rather than taking a head-on approach to suppress the disease.

“What our strategy boils down to fundamentally is a choice of suppression — getting back to near zero case incidents — as the right strategy rather than mitigation, which is just about slowing the spread,” Allen said.

“Most states have reopened with a mitigation strategy in place rather than a suppression strategy,” Allen told Business Insider, “and our view is that this is a mistake because it does not provide a sufficiently secure foundation for full opening and fully stable opening.”

“Basically what matters is that you need to be able to do enough testing to trace the chains of transmission and break the chains of transmission in order to suppress the disease and to get prevalence back down to near zero.”

As of June 12, the US has administered more than 23 million coronavirus tests, and nearly 2.5 million tests came back positive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, the Harvard experts’ “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience” called for 5 million tests to be completed per day, which would be scaled up to 20 million tests per day by the end of July.

According to a report from Stat News at the end of April, many states fell short of the necessary testing levels needed to safely reopen by the start of May, which was when federal guidelines on social distancing expired.

She said the strategy of suppression has been used and thus far proven successful in a number of other countries, including Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and South Korea.

“This strategy of suppression has been used all over the world, … and the difference is really remarkable,” Allen said. “So where countries have really embraced full suppression — not just mitigation, but full suppression — they are doing much better.”

Taiwan saw GDP growth at 1.67% in the first quarter of this year — the slowest in five years — but it showed the country was on the road to economic recovery in light of the pandemic.

Though the US has already embarked on phased reopening in a number of states, Allen said there is still time to establish an unmitigated, proper testing and contact tracing system to suppress new cases and eventually achieve zero new incidents.

“I think a lot of people believed early on that this country did not have the capacity to achieve suppression and that’s just not true,” she said. “We do have the capacity to achieve suppression and we would be much better off if we did.”

“So it’s not the reopening that was rushed — it’s the delay to build the tools of suppression that’s the problem,” Allen added, “and people need to reorient the frame on that one.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Fauci says his advice for protests, campaign rallies is the same.

By

Anne Flaherty

June 12, 2020, 2:15 PM 8 min read 0:0429:22

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Friday that his advice for people who want to attend President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies is the same for anti-Trump protestors — any large group is “a danger” and “risky.” And if a person insists on going, they should wear a mask, especially when they are yelling or chanting, he said.

In an interview with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, Fauci said he understands the urge people have to participate in the political process. But he also said the safest bet is to avoid congregating in large groups.

“You know, it’s a danger to the people who are trying to control the demonstration,” he said of the recent political protests. “And it’s a danger to the people who are demonstrating. So at the end of the day, it is a risky procedure.”

When asked whether his advice also applies to Trump’s plans to resume campaign rallies next week, Fauci said yes: “I am consistent. I stick by what I say.”

The “best way that you can avoid — either acquiring or transmitting infection — is to avoid crowded places, to wear a mask whenever you’re outside. And if you can do both, avoid the congregation of people and do the mask, that’s great,” he said.

“If you’re going to be in a situation where — beyond your control there’s a lot of people around you — make sure you wear a mask,” he said.

Fauci’s comments come as the Trump campaign plans a massive rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next Friday. The arena holds some 19,000 people, and officials were discussing ways to try to mitigate the spread of the virus such as providing hand sanitizer and masks to attendees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued specific guidelines for individuals attending larger events, strongly encouraging people to wear masks.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been the leading scientific voice on COVID-19. His frank commentary — this week he told biotech executives the highly contagious respiratory infection was his “worst nightmare” — has often clashed with Trump and GOP supporters, who are pressing the country to reopen in a bid to restart the economy.

In recent weeks, the White House task force focused on coronavirus has faded in prominence. Fauci, who continues to give media interviews, told ABC’s Karl he hadn’t met with the president since last week but that the health officials remain in constant contact.

“We have not thrown in the towel,” he said.

Novel coronavirus cases in the U.S. have topped 2 million with 113,899 deaths, according to a recent count Friday afternoon by Johns Hopkins University.

A vaccine isn’t expected until 2021 and there’s only one drug — remdesivir — that has shown modest improvements in patients.

On the prospects of a vaccine, Fauci said he expects a safe one will be identified by the end of the year and that he has more confidence in a vaccine approved by U.S. or European authorities than by China.

“I know from experience that the material that has come out of there has been material that has not been first rate,” he said.

He later added: “I don’t have the confidence (in China’s government) that I have in our own regulatory authorities or in the European regulatory authorities.”

Fauci said he urges Americans not to take an either-or approach – being completely locked inside versus flouting masks and social distancing. He said there’s a way to take common-sense steps to be safe, namely just avoiding crowds and wearing a mask.

“My message is for people to please hang in there. We will get through this. This will end. It will end with a combination of public health measures and ultimately science coming in and getting durable solutions such as treatments and vaccines,” Fauci said.

An increase in hospitalizations across several states in recent days has been attributed to several factors, including the reopening of the economy, a disregard for social distancing guidelines, as well as Memorial Day weekend, on which many Americans flocked to crowded bars and packed pool parties that health officials warned against.

Fauci said it’s a matter of time before the impact of the recent protests and Trump’s upcoming political rally will be seen in terms of infections.

“Whenever you loosen mitigation, you can expect you’ll see new infections. I think it would be unrealistic to think that you won’t,” he told Karl.

“The critical issue is how do you prevent those new infections that you see from all of a sudden emerging into something that is a spike? And that’s the thing that we hope we’ll be able to contain. But time is going to tell in the next few weeks,” he added.

As for people insistent on ensuring their rally cries are heard by the government, Fauci pleaded with them to keep the mask up and covering their nose and mouth.

Trump’s rally — scheduled on Juneteenth, a celebration of the end of slavery, in a city known for the 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre — could draw anti-Trump protesters as well as supporters. Fauci said he hopes people who insist on attending keep their masks on.

“When you start to chant and shout, even though the instinct is to pull the mask down, which you see, don’t do that because there is a risk there and it’s a real risk,” he said.

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Who is in Charge of the NFL? TOTUS or GOODELL? MA.

Charean Williams  5 hrs ago NBC Sports

During Friday’s PFT Live draft, Washington came up as one of the teams that should consider signing Colin Kaepernick.

Washington, though, has never discussed the former 49ers quarterback.Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl who now serves as Washington’s vice president for player development, explained it’s because of the city the team represents.

“I think what happened here, we’re in a heavily, heavily military area,” Williams said on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday, via NBCSportsWashington.com. “And I think the guy that sits on Pennsylvania Avenue — 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — made such a big stink of it, the fans in this area . . . might’ve been a tough situation for both the team and [Kaepernick].”

Williams, of course, was talking about President Donald Trump. In 2017, while talking about players who take a knee for the national anthem, the president called for NFL owners to “get that son of a b—- off the field.”

“You don’t want to bring people into a situation where nobody is going to be happy,” Williams said. “I think that’s probably what happened, why he didn’t come up during that time.”

Kaepernick has not played since 2016, parting ways with the 49ers in the 2017 offseason. The NFL has backballed him for being the first player to protest social injustice and police brutality during the national anthem.

Kaepernick has not gotten anything more than a visit to the Seahawks in 2017.

But the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, and the protests that have followed, have given NFL players a bigger voice. And many are using that voice to call for Kaepernick to get a second chance.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thursday a team interested in Kaepernick had called him.

Patrick asked Williams about the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Kaepernick since Andy Reid gave Michael Vick a job when the quarterback got out of prison.

“[Reid] told me — he was as real as real can get — he had two sons, and they had gotten in a little trouble,” Williams said. “He said, ‘Hey, my son got in trouble.’ He said, ‘Everybody deserves a second chance.’ And you know what? That was good enough for me. And I think if anybody could stomach that and handle Kaepernick and mentor him and understand where he’s coming from.Slide 10 of 50: David Horsey/Seattle Times

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By Lydia O’Connor   06/11/2020 08:39 pm ET Updated 1 day ago

Huffpost

Trump Campaign Says You Can’t Sue If You Get COVID-19 At His Rally

The president won’t acknowledge that coronavirus is still a threat — unless it could get him sued.

Those registering for President Donald Trump’s massive rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week will notice a message on his campaign website when they sign up: You may contract COVID-19 at the rally, but it’s not Trump’s fault.

The legal disclaimer is the closest Trump has come in weeks to acknowledging that the coronavirus is still rapidly spreading across much of the country. The number of cases leapt past 2 million this week while outbreaks grow in 21 states and more than a dozen see record surges.

But that isn’t stopping his return to holding rallies on June 19, a day recognized as the end of slavery in the U.S. The Tulsa rally venue ― an indoor arena with a 19,000-person capacity ― is a prime breeding ground for the virus to spread, especially if basic safety measures aren’t put into effect. In its message to registrants, the Trump campaign says catching the virus is “an inherent risk” of attending

By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.

By agreeing not to hold Trump or others involved in the event liable if they get sick, attendees waive their right to sue.

“We are looking forward to the tremendous crowds and enthusiasm behind President Trump,” Michael Glassner, the Trump campaign’s chief operating officer, said in a statement announcing the rally.

The registration page doesn’t note any social distancing guidelines that will be in effect at the rally and does not note that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear masks indoors when it’s difficult to keep a safe distance from others. People at Trump’s rallies are generally packed shoulder to shoulder.

Though cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb in many of the states that have reopened their economies, Trump hasn’t changed his tune on the dangers of the pandemic and insists that everything is under control. Bucking guidance from the CDC and those on his own coronavirus task force, Trump rarely wears a mask in public and has scheduled more rallies in states that are struggling to contain the virus.

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